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The Observer is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 6th November, 1947

Understanding comes with freedom. It is not the result of any desire or will or exertion or accumulated memory, practice or discipline. Therefore, it involves change of will altogether and not merely change in will. Thought which seeks security cannot be transformed by compulsion, and understanding comes voluntarily.

There is chaos and moral degradation in the world, in society, in our Environment because, without understanding, we have directed our will and our activities in a certain direction, seeking, though without success, security in things made either by the hand or by the mind. The world - i.e. ourselves - being in chaos, our values are all broken up and destroyed. How is this chaos to be resolved? The present-day world's tendency is to bring about order, if possible, by reorganising the two values, property and division of peoples - i.e. ownership, capitalism, socialism, communism, nationality, religious divisions and caste distinctions between man and man - without reference to the deeper significance of life. We cling to these two values and give them disproportionate value because, for us, there is not a greater value. Throughout the world, these two values have created extraordinary misery; you are not aware that these have caused misery and conflict, because you are thinking of yourself as somebody else. You do not look at the intrinsic significance of these values, and yet attempt to reorganise them.

Through greed, through fear, through desire for security, you create the society, the state which organises these two values. Property and the divisions between man and man are based on the desire to be secure. Therefore, the difficulty is not in the property but in the desire to be secure. We are thinking of security always and have been moving from one to another which is considered to give us greater security. Thus, the whole process of our thinking is based on security. You want security because you do not know what you are. You are not willing to face what you are. Fundamentally, you are uncertain, insecure; therefore, you seek security. Seeking security is an indication that you do not know what you are. If you see and know what you are, perhaps you can bring order. If you are confused, you will only act in a confused manner.

The Observer is the Observed

Madras, India. Group Discussion 6th November, 1947

Jiddu Krishnamurti texts. The Observer Is the Observed. Contains reports of spontaneous discourses about life and reality, given at different times between 1945 and 1948.

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